Ionians stay on top as Hull fail to dent Ampthill’s title challenge

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Hull Ionians had a dominant first-half performance to thank for a routine 26-0 victory over Luctonians.

Samuel Wilson powered in from the left to score the first try after six minutes and Chris Reakes converted.

Just six minutes later, Ionians got their second as the referee awarded a penalty try.

Adam Thomas added a third try and Reakes added the extras to make it 21-0 at the break.

There was no scoring in the second half until Isaac Green crashed over to complete victory.

Ampthill had too much for Hull in the second half as the second-placed team won 45-14.

The first half was very even, with Hull perhaps even edging proceedings. However, their scoring was restricted to a penalty try converted by Greg Lound.

Ampthill stepped up the pressure to surege clear. Ben Sullivan scored a converted pushover try for Hull in compensation.

Though both sets of back shone, Harrogate’s defence, combined with superior scrummaging earned them a 22-17 win at Chester.

Callum Irvine converted his own early try and flanker Kerry Wood drove over for the second before Harrogate lost Kyle Dench after a high tackle. Tries from Tom Foden and John Ketland made it 12-10 at the break.

Irvine kicked a penalty and converted Willem Enslin’s try after Chester had a player sent to the bin. The hosts’ final converted try came from centre Max Himbury.

Otley suffered a shock 19-14 defeat at lowly Stockport.

The pressure told against the wind when Will Battersbury crossed on 22 minutes for Ashley Platt-Hughes to convert. Otley immediately levelled, No 8 Stephen Costello intercepting and charging in for Stephen Depledge to convert.

Winger Chris Tenucci’s converted try and another by Battersby after an interception took the hosts to the break ahead.

Otley failed to take advantage of the wind and all they could manage was a 73rd-minute converted try from Depledge.

Huddersfield arrived with just five minutes to spare and suffered a third successive defeat after going down 35-21 at second-from- bottom Birmingham & Solihull.

Despite missing their warm-up, Huddersfield took the lead when hooker Ben Morrell crossed and Joel Hinchliffe converted.

Birmingham pulled level and then went ahead with two converted tries but on the stroke of half-time a penalty try was awarded to the visitors, Hinchliffe converting.

After the break, the hosts scored two tries in 12 minutes put them 28-14 ahead.

Captain Nick Sharp pulled one back for Huddersfield, again converted, but the hosts finished the stronger and scored again.